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Exit polls : surveying the American electorate, 1972-2010 /

Main Author: Best, Samuel J.
Other Authors: Krueger, Brian S.
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: Los Angeles : SAGE/CQ Press, 2012
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Review by Choice Review

Prior to this volume no previously published work has attempted to develop a coding scheme to create a single data set to identify trends and relationships in exit polls across time. Best (Univ. of Connecticut) and Krueger (Univ. of Rhode Island), both of whom have experience as CBS News exit poll analysts, have studied the exit polling data from the 1972 election through 2010. The project developed from their desire to be able to put the 2008 exit polling data into historical perspective, and their discovery that this was not easily done. In a two-year project they created an original coding scheme, merged the results, and generated user-friendly spreadsheets. Through this effort the authors have produced results that examine demographic backgrounds, lifestyle choices, economic considerations, and political orientations; their findings appear in tables, graphs, and written interpretations. The work is designed for academics, journalists, and political observers. The information provided includes the exact wording of both the questions and the response options for the nearly three-dozen questions repeatedly asked in exit polls over four decades. Reading the data permits readers to see the Democratic and Republican support in both presidential and congressional races. The media use exit polls to project final results, and analysts use them to determine strengths and weaknesses in support for various candidates. A history of exit polls begins this work, and a useful index closes it. This is an important contribution that will see wide use by historians of the political scene and others seeking a better understanding of voting trends in the United States. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers. G. R. Walden Ohio State University

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Library Journal Review

Of inestimable value in election forecasting, exit polls constitute the primary means by which real-time election results are predicted. The subject is typically subsumed in general works on polling or elections. This title treats it explicitly. Polling experts Best (political science, Univ. of Connecticut; CBS exit poll analyst) and Krueger's (political science, Univ. of Rhode Island; former CBS exit poll analyst; coauthor, with Best, Internet Data Collection) meticulous longitudinal study synthesizes oftentimes elusive and ephemeral exit poll statistics from disparate sources over the past four decades. While the tables and figures on presidential and congressional voting preferences in chapters four and five comprise the bulk of the book, readers will also profit from the first three chapters, which offer a history of exit polls, explain the authors' methodology, and discuss the changing demographic and ideological composition of the electorate. VERDICT Although this noteworthy work may also appeal to general audiences, its primary readership will likely be students and scholars, making it a useful addition to academic libraries' political science collections.-David Ettinger, George Washington Univ. Lib., Washington, DC (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.